Source: The Mercury, Thursday, 31 August, 1995, p.1-2
By PETER STAPLES TASMANIAN football will face its greatest challenge next month when the TFL statewide league grand final goes head-to-head for the first time with an AFL final on television. For the first time-and after years of agitation by the public and television stations - Southern Tasmania will get a live broadcast of AFL football as the grand final is played at North Hobart. The move follows a decision by the AFL to lift its normal ban on having AFL games shown live in areas where there are finals. However, TFL general manager Barry Breen says the live coverage of the AFL final will have little bearing on the attendance at this year's statewide league final at North Hobart on September 28. "We have known for most of the season that the AFL preliminary final could be televised live but I am extremely confident that it won't impact greatly on atten- dance at our grand final," Breen said. "We gave the clubs the option of switching our grand final to a Sunday but the decision was unanimous to keep it on a Saturday. "I am glad they did because I'd stack our grand final up against anything else on the day." Southern Cross TV program manager Gillok Collins was delighted that the network was finally able to give the station's thousands of staunch AFL viewers what they had craved for many Continued Page 2 Tassie footy's TV challenge FROM PAGE 1 years. "All I can say is, it is about time and broadcasting AFL games on TFL grand final day is long overdue," she said. "Considering ABC-TV pro- vided a live coverage of the TFL grand final last year, I found it hard to comprehend the reasoning in refusing this network permission to broad- cast AFL finals live." The AFL lifted its normal ban on telecasts of its games in opposition to country and regional football finals because both AFL preliminary finals were being played on that day. The venues will not be decided until after this weekend's final round of roster games. With attendances at TFL grand finals consistently fall- ing in the past decade, the live coverage of an AFL final could have a further impact at the turnstiles. In the five seasons from 1985 to 1989, a total of 84,416 people attended TFL grand finals at an average of 16,883 but in the past five seasons from 1990 to 1994, only 68,044 ventured to North Hobart Oval at an aver- age of 13,608. However, Breen admitted the make-up of the teams con- testing the AFL preliminary final to be telecast may have a bearing on the impact on the local product. He would not say whether ABC-TV would televise this year's TFL grand final live.
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